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My Book – Simple Thai Food: Classic Recipes from the Thai Home Kitchen

Simple Thai Food by Leela Punyaratabandhu
Remember when the Zealous Water Buffalo told you many months ago that I was writing a book? Well, it’s done. Simple Thai Food: Classic Recipes from the Thai Home Kitchen won’t be available until around mid-May, but if you preorder it now, you will be among the first people to get it.

That’s not all, if you preorder the book now, you will be given access to a video tutorial on how to make red curry from scratch, from the homemade paste to the finished dish. I do not intend on making this video public on the blog or elsewhere, at least within the next year or so. So it will be available immediately to only the early birds among you and no one else. So, please be sure to keep the email confirmation from your bookseller of choice (Amazon, Barnes & Noble, IndieBound, iBooks, and Google Books) when you preorder.

You have until Thai New Year (April 13) to do so which is when I will tell you how to redeem your gift.

But first, let me tell you a bit about the book so you know what you’re investing in. In keeping with the theme of simplicity, I will sum up this book into one sentence. Continue Reading →

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Shrimp Paste Relish with Lime Rind (น้ำพริกผิวมะนาว) and a Little Ghost Tale

Thai Shrimp Paste Chili Relish
What criteria do you use to gauge how much you understand another culture? How do you rank these criteria in terms of their importance? How objective is your ranking and what are the factors influencing it? What characteristics must someone from a different culture exhibit – what knowledge must they possess for you to consider them well-assimilated or at least well-versed in your culture? What are the things you need to do or say or prove in order to assure someone that you really understand their culture and vice versa? What criteria do you think someone else from a culture different from yours may use to measure your understanding of their culture? I often wonder about these things. Continue Reading →

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Retro Thai Pop Music and Food


I don’t quite remember the things that I had planned to do today. I vaguely recall that they are important — some of them even urgent. But it doesn’t matter now, because all of them are shot to you know where thanks to Mr. David Adam Edelstein who alerted my attention to a collection of Thai fashion magazine photos from 1968. One thing led to another, and, next thing I knew, I had fallen down the rabbit hole of YouTube videos featuring music of The Impossible, one of the most famous Thai bands from the late 60s to the early 70s.

And that’s how I stumbled upon this 93-minute video which manages to let you listen to some of the band’s hits as well as feast your eyes on food (mostly Thai) in one fell swoop. Quite a feat.

What do Thai retro pop music and food have in common? Who knows? Apparently, YouTube member, micro25years, who uploaded the video, sees the connection. Her reasons, if there are any, remain unfathomable to me. But that’s why this is all very intriguing. Also, what’s the harm in looking at pictures of food while listening to music?

The highlight, for me, is between 1:17:47 and 1:20:26. It features a song about a man so in love with a woman he’s oblivious to everything including whether or not she’s been spoken for; it also shows you photos of beef noodle soup, green papaya salad (with roe crabs?), northeastern Thai sour sausage (Sai Krok Isan), some kind of fondue (Thai-style sukiyaki?), a loy kaew of what appears to be jackfruit, and iced coffee.

The 1:07:01 mark where you get to hear a knock-off of the Rolling Stones’ Satisfaction opening guitar riff while staring at green mango salad is also pretty cool.

If you need help identifying any dish in the video, leave the request in the comment section, pinpointing the exact time mark where the dish is found.

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